A Voice on Responsibility and Initiative in Romania

The other day I was asking Romanians how they gave self-leadership, responsibility and initiative a place in their lives after Communism fell in 1989.  Here is one voice. If YOU like to tell your version, contact me on info@yvettelarsson.com

We grew up in a very “structured” society. There was responsibility also before revolution, but you could pay badly for it, so everybody tried to run from it.

Initiative almost didn’t exist

because there was no possibility of having your own business or to do anything else except what you were told.

Of course, if the “initiative” suited the communist propaganda or could report somebody to Securitate, then it was welcomed. The boss was always the boss, you would have never dreamt to address without the compulsory “comrade ” and the family name.

The revolution came, the communism fell, the old hierarchy remained. At least while I was still there, in Romania. So, for me, personally, it was very difficult to learn a way to accept responsibilities.

It scares me to the extremes (because I always expect to fail to be punished badly for that, eventually to lose my job) and I have moments when I’m trying to run away from it. Because I have never learnt how to deal with.

As per initiative, that’s the worst. Initiative comes always with self-confidence and maybe life experience. I lack both. It is interesting, though, moving abroad I’ve started realising this is part of the life in this neck of woods and I started to change, but I am still not there yet.

In Romania, even in 2002 (when I left) you were still ridiculed if you had an idea and your direct boss didn’t believe it was good. For years (and I worked for an American company) I heard all the time “women aren’t good engineers, they will never be”. Even the strongest mind can give up to one point to this daily “oppression” and becomes a simple machine. Doing what is told.

Lots of people still wait to be told what to do, still wait for the state and govern to do something so they could live better, not realising this, actually it depends on them, on their work. Unfortunately the system is still working there, maybe at a smaller scale then before, but it is still there. Unfortunately it will take a few generations for things to change. In my opinion.

 I don’t know how to explain it better. Hope my thoughts were clear enough…

Thank you Andreea Popescu !


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